For the last year I’ve been entrenched in a mud filled, water soaked, molding, bleeding, hurting war with depressive thoughts and negative attitudes. I’ve gone over the top so many times and been shot down just as many.
I’m making progress. Even if that progress is just holding my ground. I get up and I run. And when I don’t I do the next day. Sometimes. But I’m getting faster and stronger again.
She’s been fighting the fight nearly as long as I have. We’re going to make it. We’re gonna be there. This enemy isn’t tangible but it can be felt every day and every where. And I KNOW beyond all knowing that I can beat it. And that knowledge today… that knowledge gets me through tomorrow.
You can talk to God, go banging on his door.*
I have long rambling rants heavenward about these thoughts and emotions. And He usually says, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” And when I do, I’m usually fine. Because I stopped focusing it being the fault of everyone and every thing around me and instead focused on joy.
She brought up this idea as well. That it doesn’t matter where we are or the outside sources. We must cultivate our own space. We must till our own earth. This small dedication to enjoying life now is what will enable us to find our dream place where life is enjoyable.
There is a scripture idea of being faithful in the small things. An idea of praying even when you are peeling potatoes. You don’t get into MIT and then become a first rate scholar. The seeds are already set and buried and watered and watched. You don’t become a world class football player by being on the team. You develop the work ethic and the focus first and then the team brings you on.
Happiness is the same way. You don’t suddenly wake up ecstatic and grinning at hell. You start by smiling in the muck and the grime. By enjoying the days when its so boring you just wish you could erase the past three years to avoid the boredom.
Dedicate yourself and you gonna find yourself*
You run when you are so slow its embarrassing. You write when your prose is childish. You draw when your hawks look like “is that flying warthog horse with ant pincers?” You smile at the suck.
Because you know the secret. You know that truthfully the sadness is all on the inside. People have smiled at torturers. People have rained blessings and prayers on the men burning them. The poorest have found things to give to others. The weakest have offered their hands to help others up.
And so I smile at my sadness. A fierce crazy madness. A knowledge that it won’t just be fixed by smiling at it. I pretend my smile is an obscene gesture in the face of the depression that tries to overwhelm me. AND I REMEMBER THAT I’M NOT ALWAYS SAD.
Practically I often have to have inner conversations with myself over this. I play music that will challenge me to keep going. I remind myself that I swore to never quit.
I remind myself that the dirty sad looks of others are usually visual signs of them wrestling with their own inner demons and not endemic of their feelings towards me. I try to focus on being a force of happiness and motivation in others rather than expecting them to motivate and enrich me.
I avoid sad stories and deep thoughts like the plagues of Egypt. I take deep breaths when she tells me that my cheerful music I’m writing to is something she doesn’t like.** I remind myself that the example I set on how to deal with this is the example my children will follow. I try not to allow myself to withdraw into myself in front of them but instead to acknowledge the sad and fight through it.
There isn’t a fancy conclusion, body, and introduction to this post like I would hope. My only point is that sadness is a war of attrition not a single duel and that you have to cultivate it now in order to beat it later.
Well that’s not the only point but that was one of them. Having identified at least one of my points at the end of the rambling I think is a good and worthy goal. And another goal was to encourage others. To show them that even when you are losing it can be beaten.
As the great poet put it, Just letting you know that you’re not alone, Holla if you feel like you’ve been down the same road.
*The Script. “Hall of Fame”
**Love you 😛